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PRESS RELEASEMarch 28, 2024

Zambia: New World Bank Grant Helps Keep Girls in School, Strengthens Financial Protection, and Improves Livelihoods

LUSAKA, March 28, 2024 Zambia is set to benefit from a new second phase of the Girls' Education and Women's Empowerment and Livelihoods for Human Capital Project (GEWEL 2) aimed at supporting 1.5 million vulnerable households in Zambia, including nutrition support to at least 25,000 households in the hardest to reach communities. In addition, the project will deepen efforts to help keep more than 107,000 vulnerable adolescent girls in school and provide support to boost economic opportunities to 58,000 women.

The GEWEL 2 project is a $157 million grant that builds on the successes of its predecessor, GEWEL 1. Its primary focus is on enhancing human capital development and productivity among marginalized girls and women, while also strengthening adaptive social protection systems. The grant consists of $150 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and $7 million from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents (GFF).

By investing in girls' education and women's empowerment, GEWEL 2 is not only enhancing individual lives but also driving broader economic and social progress," said Achim Fock, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia.

The GEWEL 2 project takes a holistic approach to addressing gender disparities by promoting sustainable development through protecting the poor and building their resilience to climate and other shocks, enhancing girls' access to education, and promoting increased productivity among vulnerable women.

The GEWEL 2 project is closely aligned with the government of Zambia’s development priorities, and it emphasizes the interrelation between human capital and economic productivity. “GEWEL 2 is not just about numbers; it's about impact," emphasized Nadia Selim, World Bank Senior Social Protection Specialist. "From increasing dietary diversity among children and girls' school retention rates to ensuring sustainability of women’s microenterprises while strengthening systems for effective and accountable delivery of assistance, these ambitious targets reflect an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable populations and contribute to Zambia’s long-term development and prosperity."

Additionally, GEWEL 2 serves as a starting point for addressing nutrition and strengthening accountable and effective social protection delivery systems for long-term sustainability.

“Through the Global Financing Facility’s** (GFF) partnership with the World Bank and the Government of Zambia, we are supporting efforts to improve nutrition services at community and primary health care facilities, with a focus on the hardest to reach communities. This is particularly urgent in the face of mounting climate shocks, including drought, which can have devastating impacts on the health and nutrition outcomes for women and children if concerted efforts are not taken. We look forward to supporting Zambia’s leadership to build human capital with nutrition as a foundation,” said Luc Laviolette, GFF Head of Secretariat.  

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce extreme poverty, and boost shared prosperity on a livable planet. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $496 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $34.7 billion over the last three years (FY20-FY22), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks

**The GFF is a country-led partnership, hosted by the World Bank, that fights poverty and inequity by advancing the health, rights and opportunities of women, children and adolescents. It does this by supporting low- and lower-middle-income countries to strengthen their health systems and improve the quality of and access to health care through prioritized plans, aligned financing, and policy reform. Since partnering with the GFF, countries have reached: 100 million pregnant women with four or more antenatal care visits; 130 million women with safe delivery care; 135 million newborns with early initiation of breastfeeding; 630 million women and adolescents with modern contraceptives, preventing 230 million unintended pregnancies.


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